LIVE at DEWAN FILHARMONIK PETRONAS
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 at 9.00 p.m.
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Rachel Guerzo talks to TASHNY SUKUMARAN of The New Sunday Times Magazine, about her long-awaited debut album
FAMILIES are the darndest things — a support system, a refuge — and also a source of pressure. The Kennedys, for example. Rachel Guerzo is a shining example of this. A Guerzo on her father’s side and a Soliano on her mother’s (two of
Gifted with a charming, bubbly personality and silky, soulful voice, Rachel is the epitome of a diva — without the temper tantrums.
Was her family her inspiration? “It’s more like a curse!” she says with a laugh. “No la, I’m just kidding. It’s a lot of pressure coming from a musical family, but I wasn’t pushed to do music,” she says at her debut album launch at No Black Tie in
And if you weren’t doing this? “Selling strollers. I tried la. I have to tell you, I tried. But the pull of going and stage and singing... it was too strong.
“I just like playing and singing, it doesn’t matter where. It’s the music that drives me, every time,” reveals this fresh-faced thirty-something KL girl. Her advice for aspiring jazz musicians? “Don’t give up hope!”
Her album, Just Friends, is a classy-looking package with six jazzy tracks written by renowned artistes and originals from
Rachel’s voice, reminiscent of female jazz icons of yesteryears, shines in each and every song, husky with beautiful control over the notes.
Particularly moving tracks are her cover of Irving Berlin’s They Say It’s Wonderful and Gadis Idamanku by Alfonso Solianos — the former is like liquid velvet, while the latter is both nostalgic and haunting.
“I would definitely consider my grandfather part of the inspiration for this album. He was ahead of his time.”
Alfonso Soliano was founder, arranger and composer of Orkes Radio
Rachel is also excited about her debut at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in April 2010. The music will be based around her album.
A stylistic mix of Diana Krall’s fluidity and Shirley Horn’s versatility — as well as an unnamable quality that’s all her own, it’s easy to see why Rachel’s voice has seized the hearts, and ears, of many Malaysians. I know I’m a fan.